Greetings, geeks of all ages. With 2020 coming to a close, The Mandalorian Season 2 also comes to an end. The Season is filled to the brim with many great moments, from giving The Clone Wars characters their live action debuts to the emotional through line of the Season. Every episode to date has been worth the wait. Each episode delivers great moments, and the Season Finale does so in spades.
For people who have not watched the Finale or the show in general yet, I’ll keep this spoiler free. Though to be honest, I’m not sure why you haven’t watched it yet if you’ve been following along. In the Season Finale, Jon Favreau pulls out all the stops in delivering a fantastic script. His love for the franchise is made apparent in his script writing. The episode itself pays respect to the lore established in the movies and shows that came before it.
Peyton Reed does a fantastic job directing the episode. Many of the scenes do a great job of building a sense of tension. A sense of foreboding that keeps you waiting with bated breath to see what will happen next. This is complemented by the excellent score by Ludwig Göransson. The music swells with the scene to reflect the mood of each moment. When everything comes together, it becomes a feast for the senses as you are engrossed by the story unfolding on screen.
If you are a fan of excellent story telling, if you’re a fan of great visual effects, hell, if you’re a fan of incredible characters, you owe it to yourself to watch The Mandalorian. It is a fantastic show that really understands the importance of respecting what came before. The show is a love letter to everything fans love about Star Wars. As a life long fan of the franchise, this show has reinvigorated my love for it.
The Mandalorian Spoilers Ahead
Alright, for this next section, I’ll delve deeper into what makes this finale so great. Naturally this entails spoiling the plot of the finale. If you still haven’t watched the episode, please do so before proceeding any further.
So, this episode not only delivers an incredible story, but a healthy amount of wish fulfillment as well. The episode is filled to the brim with fan service. In some cases, fan service can come off as unnecessary. However, the moments feel so natural that it really couldn’t happen any other way.
One of the things that the Mandalorian re-introduces into Star Wars canon is Dark Troopers. For the uninitiated, the Dark Troopers were introduced in the first-person shooter game Star Wars: Dark Forces. They are the strongest enemies of the game as the game itself revolves around these troopers. This episode does an excellent job of showing just how much of a problem one of these units can be. The titular Mandalorian throws his entire arsenal at just one of these troopers and it shrugs the assault off like nothing happened.
Not only does The Mandalorian canonize the Dark Troopers, it also canonizes the different Phases of them. The project to create the Dark Troopers went through different phases of development. As referenced by the Doctor in the episode, the troopers were initially developed as the next stage of Stormtrooper. Eventually, the Troopers instead became powerful battle droids.
Return of the Jedi
No doubt, the biggest thing to come out of this episode is the return of Luke Skywalker. Fans who watched The Last Jedi were left disappointed in the handling of Luke’s character. Many fans, myself included, wanted to see the Jedi Knight at the height of his power. Instead, what we got was a sad old man that wanted nothing to do with it.
However, the season finale gives us Luke as a fully realized Jedi Knight. Perhaps even more than that, a Jedi Master. The Mandalorian shows how much of a problem one Dark Trooper can be in preparation for Luke’s arrival. While Din Djarin struggled to take down just one, Luke cuts through the entire platoon like paper. The Troopers are little more than moving targets in the face of the hooded Luke Skywalker. And then, in a scene reminiscent of Vader’s appearance in Rogue One, Luke proceeds through a hallway filled with Dark Troopers and rightly ends each and every one of them.
And then, for the cherry on top, Luke pulls off his hood and shows a young Mark Hamill’s face. Admittedly, it’s fairly obvious that the face is a CG recreation. However, that does not detract from the awesomeness of seeing Mark Hamill as Luke once more. From the moment his X-Wing appears to his fight with the Dark Troopers, the entire ending of the Season Finale brought me to tears.
I am fully invested in the story of the Mandalorian and eagerly await the next season. I hope to see a resolution to the hanging thread regarding Mandalore. Perhaps Bo Katan becomes a recurring character that either continually fights Din to reclaim the Darksaber. Or she could become a valiant supporter of Mando and help him become the next ruler of Mandalore. Whatever may happen, I’ll be here, hungry for more.